Creating a More Nurturing Physical Environment

It’s been more than a decade since environmental sustainability took the stage in the architecture/engineering/construction industry. Now groups such as Delos are striving to broaden the scope of sustainability to include a human component. Delos provides research, consulting, real estate development and other services in the pursuit of a more nurturing physical environment. Its initiatives include:

  • Wellness Real Estate™, a set of principles that merge medicine and science with design and construction.
  • WELL Building Standard®, an evidence-based system for measuring, certifying and monitoring the performance of building features that influence health. According to a November 2015 press release, nearly 80 projects encompassing 20 million square feet are now registered or certified under the WELL Building Standard in 12 countries across five continents.

Dr. Whitney Austin Gray, Senior Vice President, Business Development at Delos will be the keynote speaker for DesignColumbus 2016. Dr. Gray is responsible for the oversight of health research and the development of innovative design strategies and products that seek to improve human health and wellness through building design.

Prior to joining Delos, Dr. Gray served as the Health Research and Innovation Director for Cannon Design, a global healthcare design firm, where she oversaw the company’s primary and secondary research, prototyping and innovation platforms. During her tenure with Cannon Design, she delivered transformative projects to clients and worked to develop and promote new ideas that increased the impact of health research and innovation on the design industry. She holds dual appointments as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Georgetown School of Nursing & Health Studies, with research interests that include the development of innovative and sustainable design strategies, processes, and products that provide a safe and healing environment for patients and staff.

Dr. Gray’s efforts have been widely published, and she is an invited presenter at national and international conferences—often speaking on topics related to health-centered design in healthcare environments. Dr. Gray co-founded the NIH Health in Buildings Roundtable, and supports health and design research through the AIA, ULI, and EDRA. She received her PhD from The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and her BA in Public Health Studies from The Johns Hopkins University, and was the first public health professional to become LEED AP.

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